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  • Writer's pictureBGC Metro Baltimore

SECU Shows How 'Kindness Connects' Its Outreach To Members At The Door With A Fun Bike Build

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

SECU Keeps The Good Deeds Rolling:

Kindness Connects volunteers show off what they 'Made with Love' for playtime use at The Door.

State Employees Credit Union’s (SECU) third annual Kindness Connects event was packed with great opportunities for its employees who came from all branches and every level of the company to lend their services to the many organizations in attendance. Towson University’s state-of-the-art SECU Arena was the location for this wonderful days to assist in many causes. Moveable Feast, Maryland Book Bank, Special Olympics Maryland and Easter Seals were some of the 14 organizations benefitting from this wave resulting in over 100,000 acts of kindness being done this past Monday as part of SECU’s month-long campaign this October to complete a total number of 250,000 acts of outreach. QR Codes were used for the day by each volunteer to scan their personal good deed for the day which added to the growing total amount. Through Business Volunteers Maryland and with the help of The Leaders Institute, a few lucky SECU employees participated in the Bike Build workshop where they unified in a creative team-building exercise that benefitted the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore members at The Door.

Pieces To A Kind Puzzle:

Volunteers had to think before they could gather all the parts to before they could build their bikes.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore is one of the many organizations we love to see experience the kindness from some of the wonderful leaders and volunteers in our business communities,” Julie C. Kernan, CEO of Business Volunteers Maryland, said about what her organization does by partnering altruistically minded companies with area organizations in need to enact change. “The Leaders Institute facilitates the team-building component while volunteers build the bicycles. We have worked with them on other projects and it is always well received because they actually have volunteers do more than just build a bike together. They’re really working collaboratively with people they know and—for some—they’re working with people they’ve never met until that day which makes it a new experience for everyone.”

Kindness In Action:

SECU Volunteers prove that working together as one is the best way to enact change.

Excellently organized by The Leaders Institute’s Senior Instructor Damian Johnson, participants were initially divided into teams, assigned captains and given several clues to answer in order to collect each piece of the bikes they would soon build. Minutes of confused looks passed before each team soon realized that they each had to work together as one team—not as seven individual groups—to solve the mysteries. Piece-by-piece, each bike came together as these employees bonded while unifying for one goal. It was a day that many SECU staff members will never forget. SECU’s Digital Product Owner Leslie Nissenberg was one of the many who left the session truly impacted by performing her act of kindness.

Teaming Up:

SECU Volunteers work as one to get the answers so they can build together.

“I’m an avid cyclist and to put these bikes together was really fun for me--I loved it,” Leslie said while smiling after she helped to load some of the bikes onto the truck for transport to The Door. She then spoke about why this day is in line with her company's values. “SECU really believes in giving back to the community and I think it’s really defining about our organization. People these days choose companies and positions not only based on the work, but also on what the company’s profile and what it believes in overall. It made me very happy to see all the different organizations we were helping here today.”

Leslie’s sentiment is the very one that was present throughout this day of giving. This form of direct, in-person philanthropy goes a long way for the donor offering their time and the thankful recipient putting good use to the donation. Checks and balances often make up the normal business day for SECU employees, but Kindness Connects proved that time was the only form of currency that mattered to them on this day. Seeing each participant give their mind and body to this collective goal offering two-wheeled fun to our members resonated with The Door’s Club Manager Wes Pindell IV who discussed the overlooked value of access specifically effecting his Club’s community in East Baltimore.

Hitting The Road: SECU Volunteers and BGCMB staff load the gifts to members at The Door.

“For The Door, this is a great opportunity for members to take part in more extracurricular activities along with our normal programming during the week,” Wes, a former Club member himself, said as SECU employees leaving the Arena for the day walked past and admired the row of completed bikes. Promoting an active life of outdoor recreation pivots the unhealthy tendencies linked to afternoons spent indoors on the couch. We see these new donations as opportunities to give our members at The Door the feeling of having the breeze grace their faces as they safely roll down the block with helmets protecting them as they play. "When you’re caught in a hard place, it’s tough to believe that someone truly cares. But to have someone who would be willing to do something like put these bikes together without personally knowing who it helps just speaks volumes of SECU and it’s a huge deal for us at The Door. Our members feel seen and we’re very appreciative."

Arriving Home: The bikes SECU Volunteers assembled make it to The Door.

According to a Harris Study that supports Wes’ point on the importance of members engaging in healthy activities on the magnitude of why this event was so meaningful, ‘80% of Club alumni said the Club had a positive impact on their attitude toward fitness and health’. Promoting an active life of outdoor recreation pivots members away from unhealthy tendencies linked to afternoons spent indoors on the couch. We see these new donations as opportunities to give our members at The Door the feeling of having the breeze grace their faces as they safely roll down the block with helmets protecting them as they play.

Play Time: Members of The Door finally get to ride the bikes that were 'Made with Love'.

Granting our members with various forms of access and opportunity that many overlook are one of the many mission-centered goals we tirelessly strive for at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. Being able to partner up with SECU for a daylong event like Kindness Connects is how we keep our members at the forefront of all our volunteering partnerships throughout the year. SECU’s all-in approach to outreach helps to elevate the feeling of our members being 'seen’ that Wes alluded to earlier. These bikes, each one ‘Made with Love’, represent what happens when a dedicated team puts all its time, energy and resources towards creating great futures.

Want to find out more about the other partnerships fueling the efforts of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore locations from Charm City to Maryland’s Eastern Shore? Click here to stay up-to-date on all the events shaping The Movement.

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